Fall Harvest Moon
Slept fourteen hours yesterday.
Talked to the surgeon in the am. Current theory is that this may have been an AVM, arterial-venous malformation. Apparently these occur where the arterial capillaries begin returning blood to the venous system. The pressure at those sites can cause anomalies in the veins that sometimes burst. Unless they’re bleeding though, they tend to be flat and unremarkable. Hard to find and hard to identify even for pathologists. He did not think diverticulitis caused the bleeding because the blood came from above the site of the diverticuli.
Not feeling at my sharpest right now. Mostly due to exhaustion. Emotionally I’m taking this as it comes, trying to stay in the moment, not projecting beyond what I know. Until matters come into clearer focus, which might be a few days to weeks, I’m concentrating on caring for Kate and the dogs.
Congregation Beth Evergreen folks are in constant touch, want to help. As soon as I can identify what would be useful, they’ll help. Annie, Kate’s sister, recently retired, is coming out on Friday. Joe and Seoah may come out, too. Kate’s the big sister, the oldest.
It’s hard to know what would be helpful right now though. Having someone here to let the dogs in and out, feed them, that would help a lot, but it needs to be someone Gertie knows, because she bites without warning. At some point some meals will probably be useful, too, maybe grocery pick up. Local grocery now has order online, pick up at the store.
Kate is my confidant, sounding board, honest interlocutor. She’s the one I’d want to talk to about all of this, but she’s not available right now. Hardest part of the whole thing.
Just talked with Kate. She slept well last night. First time since Thursday night. She’s feeling somewhat better, still nauseated. Her hemoglobin came down from a high of 10 to something around 8.2. Not sure what that means, but it could mean she’s still bleeding. Not what we want. Shock of surgery still dominant, results still unclear. Have to wait.
Early on my mind kept offering me dire scenarios, asking what would I do if she died suddenly? What if this problem couldn’t be fixed? Would I be able to cope, be alone?
An unexpected source of strength has helped me with all of this. During her colonoscopy on Saturday I sat in an empty surgical waiting room, that eerie silence of a hospital on the weekend or late at night enveloped me. It carried me back to that night almost exactly 54 years ago when mom was in her last hours. I had to make a decision that night, all alone, Dad not really being helpful. Yes, take her off life support.
I have faced the most terrible moment any of us can face with a loved one and had to make the most difficult decision possible in that moment. Kate was not at that point, not even close; so, I could be in that waiting room, calm and knowing I could face whatever came. That’s been true so far. I’m grateful for the perspective, one gained in tragedy, yes, but important now.
Jon wants to see me tonight, so I’m going to go in to the hospital this afternoon, pick him up.
Unclear how long she’ll be in the hospital. Could be a week to ten days more.